[Review] Strange The Dreamer

29486766.jpgI received a copy of this book from the publisher Hachette New Zealand in exchange for an honest review.

Quick fire review:

“I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you’ll let me be in your story.”

Really recommend this to anyone who loves a good YA fantasy book because it has all the tropes that make those books great; heartbreak, romance, mystery, magic, wonderful characters, drama and brilliant writing.

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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Special thanks to the team at Hachette NZ for sending me a copy of this beauty. It is gorgeous inside and out.

So this was my first Laini Taylor and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to pick up one of her books. She really is a literary artist because from start to finish, I felt like I was on this strange mystical adventure that I didn’t want to end.

Now to write my review without fangirl word vomiting spoilers up in this bish.

As you can probably guess, I was pretty taken with this from the outset. While the story itself unfolds slowly, what I really enjoyed is the vivid imagery and the lyrical way Taylor puts pen to paper. She has done a fantastic job of immersing the reader into this world and placing you alongside the characters.

Speaking of characters, I love them ALL. Seriously, all of them. There are so many intricate character arcs interwoven into this dreamy story that just when you think you know what is happening, a plot twist slaps you in the face. I also really like that she took the time to flesh out her characters properly and not give them contrived reasons for existing in this world. Lazlo and Sarai were so complex and well rounded that they added so much flavour to this book. I loved them and I loved everyone else they interacted with along the way.

There is of course romance blooming in Strange the Dreamer but rather than it being an instalove suck fest, it is a feel good love that grows overtime. I’ve seen quite a few reviews refer to it as swoon-worthy and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it.

Obviously with books of this genre, world building is key and my gosh did Laini Taylor knock it out of the park. While the setting is certainly complex, the vivid imagery and the strange atmosphere were mashed together to create the perfect balance. I can’t wait to see where she takes it in the next book.

After finishing this, I have some questions I need answered, so if I could please have book two now, that’d be great.

If you are a fan of Laini Taylor, I have no doubt that you will love this.

If you’ve never picked up her books before but want to give her a go, this won’t disappoint.

If you just like reading weirdly addictive books about weirdly complex worlds, do not miss this.

Really recommend this to anyone who loves a good YA fantasy book because it has all the tropes that make those books great: heartbreak, romance, mystery, magic, wonderful characters, drama and brilliant writing.

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